Arghh! Too many widgets, cookies, blog blingees and community toys

The world wide web is turning into this candy store of excess, with wrappers littered everywhere. The "rainbow of color" in that package of bite-sized chews is called blog bling… All those see-through plastic vending machines are called browser cookies… And that candy-of-the-month subscription service goes by "community" toy names like Facebook, Wink, Twitter, and MyBlogLog.

At first I was as mesmerized by all the goodies as the rest of the neighborhood kids, but too many trips to the dentist is getting me to change my ways.

Got a couple of invitations in my email this week, and I sent back personal responses to each one that read something like this;

Aloha ____,

Thank you so much for thinking of me, however I am currently trimming many of my cookies via these online toys, and so I decided not to register for this. If someone searches for me right now, they can end up all over the place, and I rather that people looking for me get pointed directly to my blogs and my book. My web presence is a big part of my business, and so I’ve decided I need to clean it up, versus the experiment-and-test-everywhere playing I’ve been doing!

Mahalo for understanding, and for being such a supportive part of my Ho‘ohana Community!
Malama pono,

Rosa

If I can just accept and show up as a friend for you, be glad to. If I
have to register my email address or anything else to get a username
and password, I'm not gonna do it.

I admit I've had fun with all of this too, but it's starting to annoy me.

Last weekend, I took all the bling off this blog that seemed to be affecting my page loading time, and more purging is coming up this weekend. No more Technorati (gasp!) no more Google BlogSearch  (really! you know how to do that on your own) and no more MyBlogLog (am I the only one that is annoyed by my face immediately showing up when I click in to a blog visit directly or leave a comment?) That account is definitely getting canceled this weekend.

I also figure these widgets have become cheating and laziness on my part; as a service to my readers, I can learn to analyze my own stats better without all those extras.

I had liked Snap for the previews given to readers on the Ho'ohana Community page, however if I can't figure out how to do it on just that page versus all of www.sayleadershipcoaching.com it'll be history by this Sunday too.

I'm not going totally cold turkey with my sweet tooth, however I am ending my peddling for them. For example, jury is out on LinkedIn (I suspect I might like it if I used it more) and Del.icio.us remains a solid favorite for me, but I'm not going to advertise them on my blogs anymore. If you have those programs and want to search for other friends to add to your network, I figure you know how to do it without needing the widget on my blogs, right?

This is not an anti-social message, but an anti-clutter one. What do you say we talk story, and return to building community with conversation instead of cookies, stolen profile photos, and widgets, hmmm?

Update Ranting…

As for random (versus specifically chosen, sister-company on-purpose) blog ads … yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck. Have NEVER clicked on one, and never will, and I can promise you they will never be on this site.

The new in-text advertising cropping up on some sites is horrendous … pop-ups reinvented in a brutally rude way. If you have added it to your site, please reconsider. You may as well post a banner on your site telling your readers they are nothing to you but a passively earned dollar sign.

Comments

  1. says

    I am starting to come around to your way of thinking. I agree with the need to register for these so called ‘social networking’ thingy’s.
    For a few months now my blog has been a Javascript free zone – I was annoyed with the slow page load times due to MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog, and others. I also removed Google Stats, (as the crowd sighs and gasps). Being a WordPress user, I have opted for the new WordPress stats plugin. It provides the best view of the activity on my blog including keywords, incoming links, incoming search phrases, top posts, and clicks.
    Since it is a WordPress plugin by Automatic (the Corporation that runs WordPress) I trusted it and it has not slowed down my site. Also, the good Plugins do not use any Javascript.
    As far as networking, do we really need a LinkedIn? We were all networking before LinkedIn came to be. Part of me likes LinkedIn and part of me feels like it is an extra step.
    Maybe I am going to experiment with modifying my ‘About’ page to reflect some of the information that LinkedIn shows about me. I wonder how interested people are in some of that information?
    I am going to experiment with some ideas and then trackback here so we can have a discussion about a revised format/approach that we could be used on our own blogs.
    Thanks for being the squeaky wheel and getting my curious, problem solving, innovation streak.

  2. says

    Thanks Steve, have much more to do … cleaning up the blog’s sidebars are a cakewalk next to the archive of posts that should be revisited! My just-started every-Thursday regimen is working pretty well: Need to solidify the habit.
    This may seem a bit contrary to what I wrote about registering one’s email Greg, but one thing I like about LinkedIn is its “all in” approach to a person’s profile for professional connections: They ask for more and they get it, giving the entire LinkedIn community a better credibility. It also keeps them more self-regulating, for I notice that people are much better about keeping their profiles updated there.
    I love the idea of giving people LinkedIn recommendations as unexpected birthday, thank you, or you-are-appreciated gifts, and I need to do it more often.

  3. says

    I completely agree Rosa. Not only do these widgets slow down your page but they also add extra code that can get in the way of search engine bots seeing the code that is of most importance on your site – the content!
    I have no bling in the sidebar except for links to my content, good friends of Working Solo (in the blogroll) and my subscription links. The one widget that I do have is on the Contact page (Meebo). It is very recent and that is there to help facilitate direct communication between me and readers. If I find this getting out of hand it will be gone too.
    Well done on the spring cleaning. I know it will make navigation easier for your visitors.

  4. says

    Thank you Leah! You help me feel great about my decisions here, tech queen that you are!
    Next time I have a quiet weekend I’ll tackle my next phase, moving all my cherished book links to a separate page and revamping my category listing as I recently did for JJL. My goal is to eventually get this to a two-column format that doesn’t skinny-up the post content this way.
    Any other suggestions are welcomed!

  5. says

    Hi Rosa, thanks for sharing your experience here. Most people seem to be adding widgets and bling and I found it refreshing to hear about your decluttering approach – plus the emphasis on content and conversation, of course!
    Re MyBlogLog, I do have that on my site and have enjoyed ‘seeing’ who’s coming by in the early days of my blogs. It’s also a way of finding new blogs as I’ve followed the links to the blogs that are read and written by my readers. I guess other people have also come back to me as a result of ‘seeing’ me on sites they read or author.
    I think all of these things are personal preference though, and as a blog is very much personal endeavour it needs to feel right to you.
    Good luck with the rest of the tidying up
    Joanna

  6. says

    Welcome to the conversation Joanna, thank you for jumping in!
    I was one of the early adopters to MyBlogLog because it was such a quick and easy way to see what my outclicks were; I liked that feature where you’re shown the link’s popularity when you hover over it. But then I noticed that you have to be a careful clicker, or you get taken to MyBlogLog versus the link itself, and I didn’t want my readers to be annoyed by the tricky advertising, much as I could understand it from the standpoint of the widget provider. The picture widget is a relatively new offering of theirs, and so I’ve been bugged because as one of their community members you had no choice but to be sucked into it too. I have cancelled my account there completely but it doesn’t matter, I still pop up on them and will learn to live with it. To that end, it’s good to know that you appreciate having it! Makes me feel much better :-) I do agree that it is great to see some of the faces connected to commenters you encounter on other blogs and grow to admire.
    For me, MyBlogLog is a true lesson learned about being very careful about what you sign up for. “Free” can be sheep’s clothing.

  7. says

    Javascript is an EVIL language. maybe i’m just old skool but i prefer websites instead of web applications.
    unfortunately the cool thing to do these days is to run word processors made entirely of javascript